People, Environment

Call for Ending Unsustainable Living

Call for Ending Unsustainable LivingCall for Ending Unsustainable Living

August 13 marked the day when people used up 100% of the Earth’s resources this year, meaning that any consumption from that day onward represents an unsustainable burden on the planet we call home.

Zahra Javaherian, director of Sustainable Development and Environmental Economics Office at the Department of Environment, said, “According to expert analyses, humanity exceeded nature’s budget for the year in eight months … meaning that it takes 1.6 Earths to support humanity’s demand on nature,” ILNA reported.

Ecological Debt Day, or Earth Overshoot Day, is the annual marker of when humanity alone begins living beyond their means in a given year. While only a rough estimate of time and resource trends, Earth Overshoot Day is as close as science can be to measuring the gap between our demand for ecological resources and services, and how much the planet can provide.

This year, that day was August 13—six days earlier than in 2014.

Javaherian said Iran’s biocapacity (the amount of natural resources generated by Earth that year) per person is 0.9 hectares, while its ecological footprint (humanity’s consumption of Earth’s natural resources for that year) per person is 2.1 hectares. In other words, Iranians need twice the size of their country to sustain life.

She said Iran is among the top 10 carbon emitters in the world and called for action to curb carbon production.

Reducing carbon emission is the most likely solution to the problem, and according to the president of the Global Footprint Network, the organization that calculates the ecological debt, it is the only solution.

“Humanity’s carbon footprint alone more than doubled since the early 1970s, when the world went into ecological overshoot,” Mathis Wackernagel said last week.

Looking forward to the 2015 UN climate summit in Paris later this year, Wackernagel said meeting the global commitment to reduce emissions 30% by 2030 would see Earth Overshoot Day pushed back to September 16, The Independent reported.

“We cannot stress enough the vital importance of reducing the carbon footprint, as nations are slated to commit to in Paris. It is not just good for the world, but increasingly becoming an economic necessity for each nation,” he said.